12th of August 2019
In 1977 then Assistant Commission Mick Miller identified Blue Light as a worthwhile program and started supporting the fledgling project. As Chief Commissioner, he ramped up his support, and Blue Light flourished with close to 130 Discos in Victoria. The initiative was so successful that it was adopted in every state and territory in Australia and spread internationally as a result of Miller presenting the program to an Australian Chief Commissioners conference.
With nearly four hundred Disco’s operating in Australia and many more overseas, much of the credit must go to Miller’s foresight and active participation.
Blue Light is just as strong and relevant today, standing the test of time in all other jurisdictions except Victoria, where sadly decisions by Chief Commissioner Nixon, dismantled many of the Police Youth initiatives and subsequently decimated Blue Light.
Blue Light in Victoria still survives despite the adversity it faced but the number and frequency of disco’s, its core function, has substantially diminished.
Blue Light Victoria was proud to have recognised Chief Commissioner Miller’s contribution to Blue Light by appointing him their first Patron and first Life Member.
Miller’s contribution to Blue Light will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Chief.
Ivan W Ray
Blue Light Victoria.
- Mick, I hope that there are plenty of Vanilla slices of the standard you demand.
It is easy when talking about Mick Miller’s many groundbreaking achievements, to forget one which helped forge positive relations between the Victoria Police Force and the ethnic communities in this State. It was Mick’s vision and his firm believe that for the advancement of partnership policing, the Force must reflect better the composition of the society it serves. That every effort must be made to ensure that members understand the critical issues concerning policing in a culturally and linguistically diverse society such is ours. To achieve this end, Mick created position of Police Ethnic Affairs Advisor, the first of its kind in Australia. He was also a driving force behind the establishment of the Ethnic Communities/Police Advisory Committee. The Operation ETHOS was the first specific police initiative in the Australian context, advancing understanding between police and ethnic communities based on understanding, tolerance and trust for each other.
These truly innovative strategies were further advanced under Mick’s worthy successors Kel Glare and Neil Comrie. In 1983 unique Australian Police Ethnic Advisory Bureau was established under the auspice of the Conference of Commissioners of Police, Australasia and the South West Pacific Region. This national body co-ordinated the development of strategies for policing in a multi-cultural Australia, across all police jurisdictions. The value of the NPEAB was recognised internationally. Some European police services took on board programs developed by the Bureau.
Unfortunately, the NPEAB was abolished when Ms Nixon was Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police.
During Mick’s, Kel’s and Neil’s time, Victoria Police vigorously promoted its strategies and programs within the communities so that they would be well aware of them and thus encouraged to participate in them.
It seems that not the same promotion is occurring these days. One is tempted to say that “All is quiet on the Western Front.” And as Australia will always depend on large-scale immigration, the need for continuation of professionally developed strategies will, not diminish.
Ivan Kolarik, OAM
Police Ethnic Affairs Advisor (ret.)
Executive Director, National Police Ethnic Advisory Bureau (ret.)
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